(Law) food for thought
My first few days in law school were an eye-opener. Well, more like a can-opener. The can they opened was packed with all my insecurity and confidence issues. And I did not even know I had been hiding that can for God knows how long!
On my table of realizations, I was served a cold bowl of financial insecurity and a plate of depleting self-confidence.
I was barely in my second week as a law student but with all the books that I had to buy, my family, though neither rich nor poor, was already having a hard time figuring out how to budget our monthly income (a constant despite almost-doubled expenses). Then there’s the tuition.
Truth be told, my family and I were not prepared for my going to law school. I for one was not enthusiastic about the idea. I believed I was more of an artist; I loved ambiguity. But at summer’s end, I decided to enter law school just because. So here I am: a first year student again. Of course, my ever-supportive family, especially my father who is my No. 1 supporter and persuader, did not protest my decision no matter how surprising and abrupt it was. The result was a bombardment of money-related problems. And no one told me it was just the appetizer!
In law school I met people from all walks of life: a child of a lawyer following a parent’s footsteps or forced to do so, a grandmother, a separated man, a widow, a fresh grad, a manager, a businessman, a certified public accountant… And then, sigh, there’s me—unemployed, a freelancer, single, and clueless. My classmates’ achievements and the professors’ skills make me feel small. Heck, I’m even starting to think I’m not as bright as my parents think.
I’m pushing myself to continue this endeavor that I’ve started. My consuelo de bobo is that I’m taking the path to a noble and lucrative profession. So although I’m still not sure if I’m going to eat all the sweets of law school, a bowl and a plate of negative realizations are not bad for my first meal. Perhaps law school is like wine: It gets better as years pass. But I have never tasted wine.
It took me a while to realize that what was being served me was no longer a bitter recognition of my shortcomings. This time, it’s a promise of enrichment—being able to understand the world in less ambiguous terms.
I used to think that legal issues were concerns only of lawyers and the courts, that memorizing articles of the Constitution was the essence of studying law. Well, I had never been so wrong in my life, and I’m telling you, I once suspected that our school heartthrob had a thing on me. Lately, I find myself sharing lessons I learned in class with my family. In the middle of dinner, talking about how a certain case or a codal provision affected person A’s life does not sound unnatural at all. But it’s kind of cheesy, I know.
Here’s something cheesier: Whenever I watch or read the news, I try to see if I can relate it to the legal material I’m currently reading. I’m elated if I find a connection; it’s like seeing another picture that’s hidden from most viewers’ sight. All these, and I’ve only just begun!
Recitations and my professors’ sarcasm aside, I’m excited about my future in law school. Bring on the food for my thoughts, baby!
“HHM,” 23, is a freshman at Arellano Law School.
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